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A’s wild walk-off vs Twins gives them chance to clinch playoffs at home

OAKLAND — Throughout this entire week, A’s manager Bob Melvin has refused to even entertain the idea of potentially clinching a playoff berth at home until the exact day presented itself. That day is now here.
Stephen Piscotty’s mad dash to home to score the game-winning run on a walk-off wild pitch from Trevor Hildenberger in Saturday’s 3-2 victory shrunk the A’s magic number to one. This means the A’s can clinch a playoff berth in front of their home fans at the Coliseum Sunday with a win or loss by the Tampa Bay Rays, who will begin their game three hours before.
The wild pitch by Hildenberger came while he was facing Matt Chapman with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, marking the A’s first victory via walk-off wild pitch since April 26, 1997.
Mike Fiers did not earn the win, but he was deserving of it with the performance he turned in.

The right-hander limited the Twins to just one run over six innings of work with five strikeouts before turning it over to the bullpen at just 79 pitches. In nine starts since he was acquired via trade from the Detroit Tigers in August, Fiers has posted a 2.72 ERA with the A’s.
Jeurys Familia took over in the seventh tasked with the responsibility of holding a one-run lead, but gave it up just three batters into his outing after back-to-back hits by Ehire Adrianza and Willians Astudillo tied the game. Famila was unable to complete the inning, pulled for Ryan Buchter after record the second out.
It’s been a rough go for Familia as of late, along with fellow back-end bullpen mates Lou Trivino and Fernando Rodney. When these three pitchers entered the game, it was usually game over for the opposing side. But in the month of September, the trio has built up an ugly 7.83 ERA over 23 innings.
Marcus Semien’s two-run homer off Chase De Jong in the fifth, his 13th of the season, put the A’s ahead 2-1.
— Trevor Cahill (back) will start Sunday for the first time since Sept. 9. The right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.77 ERA over 19 starts this season, and has been excellent at the Coliseum, where he’s 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 10 starts.
As for how the rotation will line up when the club travels to Seattle for a three-game series with the Mariners starting Monday, Melvin said Brett Anderson and Edwin Jackson will pitch the first two games, with Liam Hendriks likely to start the finale as the opener.
Rookie sensation Lou Trivino has hit the first major rough patch of his big league career. After dominating as the bridge to All-Star closer Lou Trivino for most of the season looking like a strong candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, Trivino entered Saturday night having allowed 12 runs in his past 12 outings.
His latest struggles came in Friday’s extra-inning victory over the Twins, where he squandered a four-run lead by surrendering a two-run home run and failing to record any of the four batters he faced in the sixth inning.
The four earned runs ballooned Trivino’s ERA up to 3.00 after it sat below 2.00 throughout the first five months of the season. Melvin said he’ll likely give Trivino a breather with a lower-leverage situation in the next couple of days, but he won’t shy away from using the rookie in critical situations.
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“We’re not gonna run away from him. We’re gonna need him if we go a little bit further than this,” Melvin said. “It just looks like his ball straightened out a little bit. Maybe mechanics off just a tick. But this guy still throws upwards of 97-98 mph and when he’s on, the ball is moving really well.
“It’s tougher for younger guys to go through struggles than it is for veterans who have been through it before, he just put up such great numbers that the expectations for him are so high.”

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